Dover Beach

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The poem "Dover Beach" written by Matthew Arnold is about a human misery. Nature especially the sea is used in order to draw a comparison between the fights of nature and the human misery.

The poem consists of four stanzas which have a different amount of lines. The first stanza consists of 14 lines, the second of six, the third of eight and the last line of nine lines. The rhyme scheme is very irregular. For example, in the first eight lines of the poem it is abacdbdc. The first stanza can be divided into two parts. In the first part (line one to line six) the lyrical I describes the motions of the sea in a very positive way. The words "to-night" (l. 1), "moon" (l.2) and "night-air" (l.6) show that it is night. To create a very harmonious mood the poet utilizes adjectives such as "fair", "tranquil" and "calm". Matthew Arnold uses an anaphora ("Gleams" and "Glimmering" l.4/5), to underline the harmonious atmosphere of the first six lines. The word "only" in line seven can be seen as a caesura. After line seven the harmonious mood of the first lines is changing into a sad mood. The word sea is personified by the verb "meets" in line seven. The personification and the expression "moon-blanched land" create a mystic atmosphere. With the words of sound "listen", "hear" and "roar" in line nine Arnold wants to activate the reader's perception of senses to involve him in his poem. Also, he involves the readership by using the imperatives "come" and "listen". The verbs "begin" "cease" and "again begin" show that the pebbles' motions are a never ending movement. By using the words "sadness" and "tremulous" the pebbles' motions are illustrated in a woeful and threatening way. The first stanza can be seen as a description of a present status, whereas the second stanza is a reference to the past. In the second stanza the poet uses "Sophocles", an ancient Greek philosopher, to show that the people for a long time thought about a comparison between sea and human misery. The...
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